Commercial & Industrial, the Five-Month Loss

May 28th, 2018

We released the 2018 Commercial & Industrial guidebook last week.  And there was much rejoicing.

Actually, it was a massive job, this one.  The Commercial & Industrial book is just over a thousand pages in length and, I can assure you, the work of revision, editing, formatting and the other myriad issues in the wonderful world of printing are, you know, bigly.

The big thing about this bigly problem is the timing.  The effort involved wouldn’t have been so much a monstrosity if we’d had reasonable time to work with.  But we didn’t.  The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) released amendments to electrical law (the basis for the Commercial & Industrial book) in the first week of January, 2018.  At law, the CSA must give 60 days’ time for public review.  But they didn’t.

The CSA violated the public review law to conceal the changes to electrical laws.  Why?

Well, the CSA also publishes their own version of our Commercial & Industrial book.  They released their version at the same time as they released the amendments to electrical law.  In other words, by violating Canada’s public review law, CSA gained several months’ worth of time to sell their version of our book without any competition from us at all.  It’s a massive money grab.

In sum, by violating public review laws the CSA took five months’ of illicit profit while depriving us of any Commercial & Industrial revenues whatsoever, and all while inflicting futile, meaningless -and expensive- lawsuits against us, causing even further delay in getting our products to market. 

Well, in spite of all CSA’s efforts in wasting our time and money, we got it published.  Late, yes, and at a loss.  But we hit back pretty hard, and all these losses will shortly be filed in an amended claim against them.

So, you know, “Pooh to you with knobs on!”  -Blackadder III

Or, if you prefer, we’re feeling good about our Court chances, so “hold the newsreader’s nose squarely, waiter, or friendly milk will countermand my trousers.”  -Stephen Fry

Anyway, it’s interesting that since 2012 CSA’s been testifying in Court that they couldn’t possibly comply with public review laws because they’re still making changes to electrical law well into the December prior to release.  Rubbish.  Leaving aside the absurdity of doing a large print run during the week of Christmas (this just doesn’t happen in publishing), it takes at least a month to prep, print, package and ship a large printing order.

Finally, in 2017, they accidentally admitted as much.  Our friend Doug Morton, BA, made a comment during testimony that “any request to change the Code that had been made since it was locked down in July….”  [Morton T-1178-12 - Dec 12, 2017 p.9 line 20]

You caught that?  Changes to electrical law are “locked down”, meaning there’s no further change to them, a full six months prior to public release. 

It was quite the admission, since it was Morton’s own testimony from 2013-14 that claimed the opposite.  So, right after his admission, we pushed a little, to see if he’d hold his latest claim;

“Q - [the Code] I understand, to use your words, was locked down in July of 2017?
A - Yes.
Q - So I take that to mean that all the amendments were finalized by [that date]?
A - That’s correct.”

[Morton T-1178-12 - Dec 12, 2017 p.11 line 10]

Well, that’s “a thought to take out for a cream tea on a rainy Sunday afternoon.”  - Fry, again.

So here’s where we landed;  The two Court hearings CSA engineered to take place while the Court of Appeal was deliberating on CSA’s March 1st hearing didn’t happen, for reasons both surreal and amusing and, alas, embargoed from publication.  Still, someday….  Next, the Commercial & Industrial book was indeed published, in the face of CSA fury, five months late and at colossal expense in production and sales losses in the interval.  And we’re all still awaiting the Federal Court of Appeals Ruling from the big March 1 Hearing, the one that could settle most of this mess.

We’ve long said that CSA’s silly lawsuits created an existential crisis for them.  The big Ruling, due any day now, could be a big blow against the big bully.  So will CSA disappear?

“No but, I mean, I’m an older gentleman, they’re more like, you know, just fingerprints on an abandoned handrail.” - Bob Mortimer

Aye, might just be that in coming.